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Next raises profit forecast as sales grow

Sales at Next rose 4.3% in the third quarter with the retailer increasing its profit forecast for the year despite trading remaining volatile throughout the period.

In the 13 weeks to October 26 sales rose 4.3% and were just above its second half guidance of between 1% and 4%.

Retail revenues during the period rose 0.4% as Next Directory sales soared 10.7%.

The retailer demonstrated the volatility of trading in a weekly sales graph, which showed the three weeks of early/mid-September were very strong, however revenues in the final week of each month were down.

Next has upped its guidance for the full year and now expects profit before tax to increase to between £650m and £680m, compared to the £635m-£675m previously forecast. This would be a year-on-year profit growth of between 4.6% to 9.4%.

Overall sales growth is expected to be between 2% and 3.75% compared with the previous estimate of between 1.5% and 3.5%.

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